Cellular connectivity has become commonplace in mobile devices from watches to tablets. Thin and light laptops are the next step.
- 5G support for mobile devices can make you more productive by ensuring reliable and uninterrupted connectivity, saving time and effort.
- Adding support for smaller laptops is easier than ever with eSIM technology, offering new opportunities in terms of functionality.
- The stability of 5G laptops may be due to the limited availability of popular models and the lack of options from high-end brands, but it is time for cellular connectivity to become a permanent offering in 2023.
5G connectivity will be common in 2023, even budget devices that offer wireless support in some cases. Prior to this, most mobile devices supported some form of cellular connectivity. It started with cell phones, of course, but then expanded to tablets and even smartwatches. But there is a natural next step in the evolution of cellular communication for mobile devices, and it is taking longer than expected.
Thin and light laptops should have 5G in 2023, but only a select few laptops offer connectivity. I run the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i every day, and the interface is sorely missed. This is why it makes such a big difference, and why there may be resistance to bringing 5G to laptops across the board.
5G support will enable you to do more
The concept of 5G connectivity for mobile devices, such as smartphones and smartwatches, is simple. You need to be connected to the digital world at all times, and you want that connection to be on your wrist or in your pocket. It’s a little different than tablets, as they’re second-hand devices for many people and most don’t have phone support by default. The advantage is that you don’t want to spend time trying to connect to a mobile hotspot or find a Wi-Fi network when you want to do something on your tablet. Having a good iPad or Android tablet with cellular means you don’t have to worry about being out of touch, and it can save you time trying to get connected.
5G support on small laptops, such as the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11, offers the same benefits for your workplace. There are times when your phone or tablet just won’t cut it, and you need to pull out your laptop to work. When this happens, most of us try to access a public Wi-Fi network or connect to our social network from our phones. But all of these answers are wrong, because public Wi-Fi can be insecure or slow and mobile hotspots can lead to slower speeds or charge extra fees. By having 5G built into your laptop, you can remove all doubt and ensure that you will always have a connection. Thin and light laptops are more portable these days to take anywhere – the M2 MacBook Air is thinner than an iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard – so cellular compatibility is important.
Adding cellular support is easier than ever
With the emergence of eSIM in mobile devices, such as the current iPhones, it is clear that adding connectivity to laptops is not a trivial question. Of course, you need to add a 5G modem and small antennas, which add to the cost of the device’s hardware and may require further research and development. But since eSIM is common, there is no need to add a SIM card tray or rethink the design of the laptop. The eSIM chip is a small accessory that may not be visible from the outside, but it can provide new opportunities related to the functionality of the laptop.
If laptop manufacturers are worried that not everyone will want 5G support, there is an answer for that. Most tablets with 5G support offer functionality as a key feature that comes at an additional cost. This means that people who appreciate 5G support can have it on their thin and light laptops, but people who don’t need it won’t have to pay for it. It’s a win-win situation for almost everyone involved, from consumers to manufacturers.
What are 5G laptops?
On paper, 5G connectivity is the reason for the low sales of today’s connected laptops. At least, that’s what chip maker Intel said when it entered the 5G laptop market earlier this year. However, I’m not sure that recent sales are the best indicator of demand for 5G laptops, as most models don’t offer the option. Not a single Mac computer has 5G, and it’s unlikely that a long-time Mac user will switch to Windows to support 5G. Even on the Windows side of things, the best thin and light laptops available don’t offer 5G. It’s only niche sub-brands or business laptops that offer functionality today, and it’s not helping to expand that category.
The best laptops don’t offer 5G, and that’s a shame. The dual-screen Lenovo Yoga Book 9i was good enough to make me switch from Mac to Windows, but it still lacks 5G support. Laptops are becoming more portable than ever, and it’s time for cellular connectivity to become official in 2023.